For varying reasons, food seems to have been a topic for me. I like food. I like trying out different combinations of things, like five spice in stir fries (it’s like a spring roll, only not in a roll), grilled grated carrot and cheese toast, avocado and honey on toast… In fact, a fair few of them involve toast. But my favourite has to be apple, cinnamon and peanut butter on toast. Crunchy, gooey and toasty? Yum. So naturally, this being my blog and not a foody one, I made an After Effects animation dedicated to the best fruit-nut-spice-bread combination ever.

I was going for something a bit infographics-y and stylised, and that advertising staple of ukelele, clapping and jingle bells seemed perfect for the soundtrack (Music by Sweet Wave Audio sweetwaveaudio.co.uk). It’s not a recipe (not unless you count those “1: roll out shop bought pastry 2: fill with can of pie filling 3: cook” things that turn up in magazines recipes as well), it’s just for fun. And to spread the word that apple and peanut butter go really well together.

Cumin is the spice of life : escottdesign.wordpress.com

Again with being food-related, cumin is good in/on many things. Soup. Roast potato/sweet potato/parsnip/carrot. Stew. Couscous. I was trying to get the background on this to look a bit tangine-like (the decorated serving dish with a cone-shaped lid). Perhaps a Victorian inspired tangine? Hmm…

Be seeing you.


Pick Me Up 2014 Part 2 : Collectives & Agencies

As I said in my last post about Pick Me Up at Somerset House, there are a lot of illustrators with work on show, and many are displaying with agencies or collectives. I couldn’t always see the names of the individual artist, which was quite sad as there were some absolutely beautiful pieces that I’d love to see other work by the same people. Sadly, as some of the work is exclusively for Pick Me Up, I may never see it or find the illustrator again. It’ll take a bit of researching on my part to hunt them down as best I can. However, until I do, here are some highlights of the agency/collective areas. I’ll do my best to update with the names of the illustrators I find!

Works from:

My absolute favourite pieces were the zodiac fashion illustration prints in the Handsome Frank room who I think are by Malika Favre. Beautiful.

Pick Me Up 2014 Part 1 : Individuals

Over the Bank Holiday weekend, I had quite a lot of art viewing. I saw a few of the open houses down in Brighton, then on Monday went into town to see Pick Me Up to Somerset House. For those who don’t know, PMU is the big contemporary design/illustration show for the year. If you like screen prints and fine liner drawings, you would love it. The only downside is that in the big rooms shared by collectives, I couldn’t always see who had done an individual piece of work (the problem with low lighting, crowding and writing in pencil on the wall really tiny).

In my first blogging of this year’s Pick Me Up, here are some highlights of individual artists from the Pick Me Up Selects area.

Thibaud Herem
Thibaud Herem
An illustrator who focuses on extremely detailed architectural subjects. At the show there was the most amazing one of Liberty’s (sadly no photo) and the London skyline.

Lynnie Zulu
Lynnie Zulu
Her combination of bright colours and bold, African-inspired patterns was really eye catching.

Andrew Groves
Andrew Groves
Minimal illustrations with bright colours, his set for PMU was inspired by wooden objects. They style looked like what happens when Japan meets Scandinavia.

Jessica Das
Jessica Das
Very simple illustrations, mainly featuring cats (her theme was “Cat Island”). The styles of the prints varied, but all were bright and striking with their contrast.

Jack Hudson
Jack Hudson
This illustrator’s work centers around scale, imagining small people alongside oversize everyday objects. I loved the playful take on the Cowboys & Indians battle being played out around potted cacti!

Gee Gee GG

Over Easter, my computer had a bit of a breakdown. You don’t realise quite how much data you have until you’re worrying that it might all be gone. Luckily, I haven’t lost a great deal (some dummy WordPress posts from my virtual server, a few old saved games that I probably won’t ever want again). It’s definitely time to give my brand new hard drive’s contents a spring clean!

Going through some of my old image folders I came across these. I think that was my reaction to hearing Girls’ Generations “The Boys” for the first time (it isn’t strongest single imho), and then Gee (which, on the popularity-on-YouTube scale at least, probably is).

Girls' Generations : The Boys escottdesign.wordpress.com

Girls' Generations : Gee escottdesign.wordpress.com

(I will stop posting k-pop related things one day, honest.)

Regular work projects, WordPress dev-ing and the Hipster Science graphics aside, I’m in the middle of finishing off something a bit newer which involves toast…

Just gif-ing around

I’m still calling them gifs. None of this jif malarky.

Between designing websites and building (yes, building) a blog theme, I’ve been having some fun with AfterEffects and making simple loops out of some of my personal work. I haven’t had much call to use AE recently, and so I wanted to remind myself of things rather than animate in Photoshop. A little on the heavy side, but here is one of the results:

EXO(-K) : MACHINE escottdesign.wordpress.com
The cogs are turning the right way, it’s just your eyes that aren’t looking properly. Or the low frame rate that is making things tricky to see, but you’ll just have to trust me on that.

I wasn’t going for anything technically correct (e.g. the teeth meeting up, the original image was supposed to be stylised rather than realistic) but the difference in speed is really a lot more noticable when the video got gif’ed. Hmm. It’s always useful to remember how much things can change when you start having to reduce the keyframes down.

Running toward the horizon

Eric Nam – CLOUD 9 EP (2013)

What’s so great about this?

It’s all about mood with this EP. It’s a set of love songs, and the packaging wants to get this across but being in pastle shades and presenting our vocalist as just plain adorable. Highly synchronised dancing and smouldering looks? Nope, he’d rather be outside playing in the snow with a dog (and possibly serenading his lady, but that’s saved for the music video). This images says he’s the kind of k-popsicle you could take home to meet your mum. G’awww.
The images are a combination of highly Instagram-filter-styled photos (some in polaroid frames) and flat colour, vectorised pen & ink drawings laid over a textured, paint-spattered background. It’s casual and cute, like a scrapbook of momentoes that makes it feel almost personal. The contrast between the Hangul on the cover being in brush strokes with the English translated title typeset beneath is another of those little ‘personal’ touches.

Want to see more?

The EP is a card book-style case, photo book on one side and CD tray on the other. It has some nice holographic details on the cover and inner photobook cover page.

Any more info?

Eric Nam is a presenter on the arirang show “After School Club”, interviewing k-pop stars and showing off his fluent English skills to translate for international fans. His cover versions of various pop songs made waves on YouTube, and now (April 2014) he has a second solo single out where he keeps up his cute but slightly dorky boy-next-door image while doing some funky dancing. He also has absolutely no problem making fun of himself. Bless.

Eric Nam site

Ready to bingo

So, I might have seen a few k-dramas. And I might have noticed some tropes… OK, a lot of tropes. It’s a bit bigger than a standard bingo card, and even then I couldn’t fit them all in! They’re all observations from a Western (admittedly sometimes slightly bemused) perspective. They’re more endearing than the way some tropes turn up in soaps on UK TV: swearing, fighting, sex & drugs & “You ain’t my muvva!” – that sort of thing (thank you k-drama for mostly keeping it all so cutesy and innocent).

I know every blogger and their dog has probably done a bingo card for this sort of thing, but I challenged myself to use icons to represent the tropes. This is all done for in the spirit of fun. I’m also thinking of doing some explaination sheets for the icons, plus any others I just couldn’t fit in (because 30 is enough, really).

Let’s play k-drama bingo!

K-drama Bingo : escottdesign.wordpress.com

I hope at least some of you are smiling and nodding about now. Aigoo!